According to reports in Spain this afternoon, Cristiano Ronaldo will not feature for Juventus when the Bianconeri take on former club Real Madrid in a pre-season friendly on the 4th of August.
Ronaldo, 33, had been on the books of Real Madrid since 2009, when he completed a record-breaking 94 million Euro move to the Bernabeu from Manchester United.
And the Portuguese superstar’s frankly-incredible successes in the Spanish capital have since become legend, with Ronaldo having notched 311 goals in 292 La Liga outings for Los Blancos, as well as smashing the all-time Champions League goalscoring record.
His trophy-haul with the current European champions was not too shabby either, with the veteran having clinched 2 La Liga titles, 2 Copa Del Reys, 2 Spanish Super Cups, 4 Champions League titles, 2 Uefa Super Cups and 3 FIFA Club World Cups with Real.
However, despite Los Merengues having racked up a record-breaking 3 Champions League titles in a row over the last 3 years, rumours stemming from Spain over recent months insisted that the Sporting Lisbon youth product was eager to move on this summer, following a major deterioration in his relationship with the club’s board.
This led to links between Ronaldo and several of Europe’s biggest clubs, with the likes of Manchester United and PSG having previously been named as the only realistic possible landing spots for the 33-year-old.
However, the last 10 days saw a new contender, in the form of Serie A champions Juventus, emerge as the outright favourites to sign Ronaldo.
The story first came to light in Italy, when the generally-unreliable Tuttosport outlandishly claimed that the Bianconeri were expressing a genuine interest in the Ballon D’Or holder.
However, while the initial report was simply brushed off by most, a number of subsequent reports in all of Spain, Italy and Portugal over the week since backed the story, with Italian transfer guru Gianluca Di Marzio having confirmed negotiations between Juve and Ronaldo’s agent, Jorge Mendes, last Tuesday night.
The likes of La Gazzetta Dello Sport, AS, Marca, A Bola, Elchiringuitotv and more all since pointed towards an imminent move to Turin for Ronaldo, with Spanish journalist Guillem Balague having claimed last Thursday that ‘in his head, Cristiano is a Juventus player.’
The bookies across Europe concurred, with the odds of Ronaldo donning a Juve jersey next season having subsequently plummeted.
And, after the likes of Gianluca Di Marzio, Sky Sports, Marca and more all claimed that a deal was on the verge of completion on Tuesday afternoon, Real made the news official, with a statement on the club’s official website:
Comunicado Oficial: Cristiano Ronaldo.
— Real Madrid C.F. (@realmadrid) July 10, 2018
Crucially, the statement revealed that the transfer was ‘in response to the will and request expressed by the player.’
Ronaldo went on to pen a lengthy letter of farewell to Los Merengues, with Juve having confirmed the Portuguese superstar’s arrival on a 4-year-contract on Tuesday night.
As such, with the Bianconeri set to take on Real in a pre-season friendly clash at FedEx Field in the United States on the 4th of August, it was widely predicted that Ronaldo would take to the pitch against his former teammates less than a month after departing the Bernabeu.
But, as per reports from Mundo Deportivo and more this evening, this will in fact not be the case, with Juve, despite the spectacle, not willing to risk Ronaldo’s fitness, just 4 days after he reports for pre-season training on the 30th of June.